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UK Regulator Forces Facebook, eBay to Combat Fake Reviews: Report

"Facebook has committed to investigate the issue, said the CMA

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FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

Facebook and eBay have committed to combat the trade of fake and misleading reviews on their sites, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Wednesday.

Following action from the CMA, Facebook and eBay have signed up to agreements to better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews which is a win for online shoppers, the UK regulator said in a statement.

Fake reviews are damaging to shoppers and businesses alike.

“Millions of people base their shopping decisions on reviews, and if these are misleading or untrue, then shoppers could end up being misled into buying something that isn’t right for them – leaving businesses who play by the rules missing out,” said Andrea Coscelli, CMA Chief Executive.

More than three-quarters of people are influenced by reviews when they shop online, and billions are spent every year based on write-ups of products or services.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“In response to the CMA highlighting its concerns about the trade of fake and misleading reviews in the summer, Facebook has removed 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts, and eBay has permanently banned 140 users,” said the authority.

While Facebook has agreed to introduce more robust systems to detect and remove such content, eBay has improved its existing filters to better identify and block listings for the sale or trade of online reviews.

Also Read: Apple Marks the Close of 2019 as its Historic Year

During a further sweep of relevant platforms the CMA also highlighted new examples of fake and misleading reviews for sale via Instagram, and reported these to Facebook which operates Instagram.

“Facebook has committed to investigate the issue, said the CMA.

“The CMA is not alleging that Facebook or eBay are intentionally allowing this content to appear on their websites and is pleased that both companies have fully co-operated,” said Coscelli. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook, Sony Pull Out Of Games Developer Conference Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Earlier this month, global telecom industry body GSMA cancelled the 2020 edition of the tech industry's biggest event -- MWC due to health safety concerns around novel coronavirus outbreak

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Facebook had already cancelled an event it had planned at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco a week back. Pixabay

 Big technology players such as Facebook and Sony have pulled out of the forthcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC) over concerns of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. This comes after coronavirus derailed the world’s biggest mobile exhibition — the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Just one day after announcing it wouldn’t be attending PAX East, Sony confirmed that it also won’t be attending the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this March in San Francisco also due to coronavirus concerns, Android Central reported on Thursday.

It is pertinent to note that Sony had cancelled plans for MWC as well and the novel coronavirus situation in China has caused a lot of distress across the tech industry.

Facebook had already cancelled an event it had planned at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco a week back.

Coronavirus
Big technology players such as Facebook and Sony have pulled out of the forthcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC) over concerns of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. This comes after coronavirus derailed the world’s biggest mobile exhibition — the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. VOA

Facebook, which owns VR company Oculus, also announced it won’t be attending GDC in either capacity. Chris Pruett, the director of content ecosystem at Oculus, said in a statement, “Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community as a whole, Facebook’s AR/VR and Gaming teams won’t be attending this year’s Game Developers Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19”, the report added.

ALSO READ: “Should Online Platforms Be Liable for User Posts?”, Asks U.S Attorney General William Barr

Earlier this month, global telecom industry body GSMA cancelled the 2020 edition of the tech industry’s biggest event — MWC due to health safety concerns around novel coronavirus outbreak. (IANS)